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Former Minister of Economy considers that the public trust bill is a “huge setback to transparency and institutionality.”

Former Minister of Economy considers that the public trust bill is a "huge setback to transparency and institutionality."

The former Minister of Economy, Juan Ariel Jiménez, warned that if the public trust project is approved and becomes law, this would be a “huge setback to transparency and institutionality.”

Ariel Jiménez indicated that in the structure of the project that the Chamber of Deputies could see this Wednesday, there are several articles that could violate other laws.

In the first place, the member of the Political Committee of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) pointed out that article 13 of the bill “exempts” public trusts from complying with the public procurement law “replacing it with a regulation characteristic of each trust”

“In a few words, these public trusts will be able to buy and contract “as they want”, without the due competition and transparency established by the purchasing law for any entity that uses public funds. This is relaxing controls on the management of state funds,” he tweeted.

On the other hand, the PLD leader cited that in article 8 it indicates that the debts contracted by the trust “are not public debt” and that, therefore, they should not go through the approval of the National Congress or the registration in Public Credit.

“Allowing extra-budgetary and off-balance sheet borrowing contradicts the good practices defined in the fiscal and debt statistics manuals of the IMF, World Bank, OECD, BIS, etc.”, he also wrote on his Twitter account.

In the same way, he pointed out that in article 10 “it allows public officials not to have a majority in the technical committee. This is putting in the administration of the public to people who do not have the due controls and limitations of public officials (eg: exclusivity of functions or affidavit)”.

“This government relies a lot on trusts, privatizations and PPPs. Only last year, resources for more than 15 billion pesos were transferred to trusts, and there are trusts for everything: police reform, scholarships, country brand, tilapia exports, etc. ”, he criticized.

The Chamber of Deputies will hear this Wednesday the Public Trust Bill. The piece, although it contemplates the details exposed by Juan Ariel Jiménez, could undergo modifications.

In the event that the Chamber of Deputies approves it, without changes, the piece would become law. But if they make changes to it, it must return to the Senate of the Republic.

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